Handi-Hour: String Art

  • GLORIA KENYON: Hi, I’m Gloria Kenyon, Public Programs Coordinator with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I’m here today with our Handi-hour craft for February 10th and we will be making string art. We’re going to use a cork board. This is a six-by-six cork board and map pins which you probably haven’t seen since elementary school, which are little pins with the big head. You can also use traditional pushpins. They don’t work quite as well with yarn. The yarn doesn’t wrap quite as well as embroidery floss. We’re using embroidery floss, not yarn.

    So, to make today’s template I will make a ‘G’ for Gloria. I have my template that I printed out. I just found a font I really liked, then I printed it out and cut it out, made sure it was sized properly. Also helpful are scissors. If you want to be really precise you can actually use a ruler to place your pins to make sure everything is nice and even.

    So, let’s get started making our design. Take your board and center your template. Or, if you wanted it askew, you could also do that. I like it nice and centered. I’m just going to take our pins and start placing them around. You want to place them well. This is where the ruler actually could come in handy if I want to place them so many centimeters apart. Make sure you get a nice even border around it. It is very helpful. You want to make sure you’re on the outside of your template. Don’t push through the template because you won’t be able to get it back up at the end.

    I’m doing white pins today because I like the nice contrast of the white and the pink. So, I got all my pins all around my template. I’m just going to gently pull my template out. Now you have your nice design of pins. We’re going to take our embroidery thread; I’m actually going to use this whole skein for this design. Create a tiny knot before you slide it over. So, then we’re just going to loop it around the pins as we see fit. There’s no rhyme or reason to how you create the design. Your goal is just to eventually fill in the whole piece. At the end, you’ve got a nice complex pattern. I’m at the end of my thread, and I’m just going to do a couple final loops to tie it off. For that last thread, you can just tuck it in, or trim it off. I like to tuck it in. Or you can glue it. Hide it. Then you’re at the end of your ‘G’, or your design.

    Public Programs Coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates crafting string letters for the next Handi Hour program at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. http://www.americanart.si.edu/multimedia/video/handihour/

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